However, I had a bone to pick with this CD, and it's been an argument I've had with many guys (especially brothas my age) over the years. I can't stand it when someone complains about politics and then doesn't vote. When "Words I Never Said" came out and I heard "Gaza strip was getting bombed, Obama didn’t say shit/Thats why I aint vote for him, next one either," I said, "I'm never buying this album." Was it because he didn't vote for Pres. Obama? No. My issue is people who complain about politicians but don't vote, which only helps those who love it when they don't vote make it into office. I don't care if you feel like you have to vote between Mr. Bad and Mr. Worse, vote for somebody and stop complaining. The irony of those lyrics only to be followed by, "If you don’t become an actor you’ll never be a factor" really sent me into overdrive. To have a lyric about being active only to rap about not being active was frustrating to listen to. Now maybe he voted for McCain. Maybe he didn't vote at all. But there will probably never be a politician who a voter will agree with 100% nor will he (or she) agree with you 100%. In the meantime though, too many ancestors fought, died and were tormented so we could get the right to vote. At least have the courtesy to do it because regardless of whether you vote or not, guess what? The president will still affect your lifestyle. (And for the record, I've voted Republican, Green and Democrat so I'm all over the place, but I loyally vote in every single election.)
Now with that said, I finally broke down and bought the album. Why? I'm still a fan of his music and own all of his other CDs.
3. Till I Get There I like this song. It sounds like he’s not quite sure whether he loves fame or hates it. There’s a thin line between the two anyway.
4. I Don't Wanna Care Right Now I like that line “blew it like turquoise.” Clever. I like the beat and the chorus more than his lyrics though. It’s more of a dance track to me. I read the lyrics to see if maybe that’d make me like them more. Nope, still a better dance song.
5. Out of My Head For some reason I was surprised to see these two collaborate. I like them as separate artists, but they seemed so opposite so it threw me off when I first heard the song with Trey Songz. I like it. I don’t love it, but I like it.
6. The Show Goes On This song reminds me of Chicago and I don’t have any good reason why. Maybe it’s the energy. It’s not so much “Unaffected by they threats then get busy on they ass/See that’s how that Chi-Town made me.” It’s lyrics like “Two in the air for the father that’s there/Three in the air for the kids in the ghetto/Four for the kids who don’t wanna be there/None for the n-ggas trying to hold them back.” I love this part (minus the n-word). He’s not only shouting out fathers but finally somebody is giving the middle finger to guys who continuously hold other guys from succeeding instead of making excuses for them. It’s the attitude of the song that I like.
8. Coming Up I couldn’t tell whether he was rapping about his sister, a daughter (didn’t know if he had a child) or some random female. Song seemed scattered by the second verse.
9. State Run Radio When I heard this song, then I figured this was one of the many hassles with this album coming out. Man, talk about a scowl and middle finger to the music industry. Yikes! I loved it though, specifically the part about independent artists. It reminded me of a conversation I had with a childhood friend who talked about how he stopped listening to hip-hop. From his perspective, if you listen to what’s on the airwaves for so long, you become what they keep playing. Guess that’s another reason I have a lot of trouble ignoring the b.s. that I used to get low to.
10. Break the Chain I like Sway’s lyric “I've got an alibi/I was taking pics of Chicago call me Camera Chi.”
11. All Black Everything I like this song. It’s a history lesson for those who don’t recognize the name and fascinating imagery for those who do. The KKK line made me wonder should the organization have been created at all, but I saw where he was going with the line. I also liked that he included a diverse group of people, showing how we can work together and make each other better instead of segregating ourselves.
Never Forget You, Beautiful Lasers and Letting Go were OK. Nothing stood out about them to me. But I can play this CD straight through (minus “Words I Never Said), which is more than I can say for almost every hip-hop artist out right now. I can’t listen to one song by 95% of the new artists, never mind a full CD (and yeah, that includes the folks who do vote).